Kukri class SDB

Venusian Space Navy Kukri class SDB

Tonnage: 400 tons (Large Cruiser)

Hit Points: Armor Class: 4 (Maximum Military)
Weapons: four bundled lasers, four batteries containing four missile launchers each Crew: 33 nominal, 40 (50 life support maximum) maximum
Speed: 1

Special: Carrying a new Venusian invention called a Sandcaster and extremely powerful lasers, the Kukri class SDB has a few tricks up its sleeve for any attacker, even heavier and better-gunned ones.

The Sandcasters are thought to function as both an anti-laser and anti-missile defence. Essentially a large sand-"cannon", they disperse a cloud of "sand" (a particulate fog, at any rate) to reduce visibilty, confound sensors, and improve defenses against both missiles and lasers. (Kinetic missiles, such as K-cannon, Light Accel and Heavy Accel guns are not affected by the damage reduction described.) If the tactical officer in charge succeeds in a Battle Tactics skill check (difficulty determined by the GM - the more agile a ship is, the more difficult it is to defend against in this way) and the Kukri goes first in this round, he has successfully deployed a Sandcaster screen between the attacking vessel and the Kukri when the attacker fires his weapons. Only one attacking ship can be defended against in this manner, or possibly one "facing" of the ship (GM's discretion).

The Sandcaster screen confuses sensors, giving the gunners on the attacking ship a +3 to-hit penalty. Furthermore, any missile and explosive shell passing through the Sandcaster screen has a 40% chance of exploding prematurely, inflicting no damage on the Kukri. And finally, the Sandcaster screen disperses laser beams, halving the damage of any laser weaponry that hits.

Of course, the Sandcaster works against the Kukri as well, by hindering the Kukri's weapons in the same manner as any attacker's weapons.

A Sandcaster cloud disperses in one round.

The "bundled" lasers are four regular pumped lasers "bundled" together and firing at the same time. For every additional +1 that the gunner beats his to-hit difficulty with, one additional laser will have hit the target. On a natural 20, all three pumped lasers will have hit the target, inflicting 80 points of damage.

The missile launcher batteries can engage one target per battery, but can fire all four missiles at the same target.

Description: Although quite massive, the Kukri class SDB is surprisingly agile as well, reflecting the low AC Defense bonus. Being extremely thick-hulled, it also has a significant Hull hit points increase. Its powerful lasers are quite enough to give any attacker pause, especially combined with its efficient missile launchers. Further, its over-redundancy in Life Support also gives it a significant life support margin that is reflected in its increased life support hit point total.

All in all, this is a powerful addition to the Venusian Space Navy, and well suited for its role as a close-range defender of Venus. Added to this is its significant cargo tonnage, allowing it a versatile role in the Venusian Space Navy.

As an added bonus, the Kukri class does withstand the Lowland atmosphere quite nicely, and is also capable of operating in Jovian atmosphere pressures, though not able to penetrate as deeply as the Jovian Miners.

Design notes: I really didn't feel that the Kukri class deserved 800 tons in the Buck Rogers system. 800 tons is almost a Battler, for crying out loud, and I just didn't think that a System Defense Boat would be in the Battler order of magnitude. Another factor is the fact that the Kukri class SDB doesn't carry any vehicles - no fighters, no landers, no nothing. As such, it didn't fit the function of the Battler, which is a sort of forward base. The Navy was easy to determine - it just looked Venusian (at least to me).

I've included a number of my own inventions and interpretations on this one (as well as the others I've designed the Buck Rogers stats for), as I think variety is the spice of life. Knowing all the stats of a ship just by knowing its tonnage is a bit simplistic to me. Besides, I enjoy thinking up silly stats for any number of varieties of weapons and gadgets. So sue me... Anyways, the Kukri class doesn't quite pack the punch the RMS Chryse does (a comparable RAM Heavy Cruiser), as the Kukri doesn't carry any K-Cannon. However, the Kukri should be able to handle any Medium cruisers, and with its increased hit point totals on Hull and Life Support, should prove quite durable.